“We help coffee farmers improve their yields while providing barangays with livelihood skills and other opportunities”
– John Martin Miller, Chairman & CEO, Nestlé Philippines, Inc.
SUSTAINABLE COFFEE FARMING TRAINING PROGRAM
Coffee farmers are Nestlé’s fundamental partners in producing coffee products of the highest possible quality for Filipino consumers. Knowing this, the Company pursues an agronomy program aimed at helping farmers improve both the quality and quantity of their coffee yield. At the center of this program is the Nestlé Experimental and Demonstration Farm (NEDF) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, which was built in 1994 to serve as the hub of the Company’s agricultural research and training activities.
The Nestlé agronomy program helps farmers in four ways:
Providing access to farming technological advances.
Nestlé agronomists continually conduct trials and experiments at the NEDF to discover and develop better techniques of growing coffee. Continuing research allows Nestlé to equip farmers with scientific tools for adapting to changing agricultural conditions or new methods that have been pre-tested and shown to generate positive gains. The NEDF also develops and propagates planting materials such as coffee seeds, rooted cuttings, and ready-to-plant seedlings, which are made available to interested farmers at cost. To date, it has provided farmers some 17,000 kilograms of coffee seeds, a million coffee seedlings, and nearly a million rooted cuttings.
For effective transfer of technical know-how, the Company offers three kinds of training: a three-day basic seminar, which is open to any one who wants to learn about coffee-growing; a three-week advanced course, for coffee specialists and technicians from government agencies, NGOs, and LGUs that provide assistance to farmers; and on-site training for farmers to help them improve their coffee farming methods. Since 1996, Nestlé has trained more than 6,000 farmers, coffee specialists, technicians, and students on coffee growing.
Promoting sustainable practices.
Nestlé has developed a coffee-based sustainable farming system that allows farmers to plant other crops in between rows of coffee trees and enable them to earn additional income. This is in line with the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative of Nestlé (SAIN), a worldwide advocacy for making coffee farming feasible and sustainable.
For more information on growing coffee, email us at email@example.com
CUT AND SEW, YARD AND GARDEN
One project stands out in the barangays for having provided a steady source of income to formerly unemployed residents— the Cut and Sew. In Barangay Bagong Pook where the Nestlé Lipa Factory is situated, this project has become a cottage-industry type of enterprise that generates as much as PhP 1.5 million worth of business every year for residents. Here, residents make use of their sewing skills to supply the factory’s requirements for uniforms (pants and polo jackets), laboratory gowns, hairnets, shoe covers, and rags.
Cut and Sew was launched in 1997 as a simple outreach project that organized a group of interested barangay ladies to learn how to sew under a TESDA training course. Armed with their newly acquired skill and provided with seed money to buy equipment and materials, the ladies began by doing small sewing jobs for the factory. In just two years, the group expanded and evolved into a more organized enterprise, with a community leader overseeing the operations and transacting business with the factory. The group has since become the sole supplier of sewing services to the factory.
Another noteworthy livelihood activity for Barangay Bagong Pook housewives is the Yard and Garden project of the Nestlé Lipa Factory, which involves cut flower Product on and organic vegetable farming in a plot of land within the premises of the factory. Here, the ladies grow vegetables and ornamental plants. With the factory giving financial assistance, planting materials, and relevant training, the Yard and Garden members take full charge of the operation of the garden and sell all their produce to the factory canteen and employees. They also rent out the ornamental plants to the factory. They use the earnings to pay for their operational expenses, including remuneration of those involved in the project.
BOWERS, MICO-D, ICE CREAM CARRITOS
Expanding its reach beyond barangays, Nestlé has developed a platform where it provides livelihood to thousands of otherwise unemployed citizens throughout the country. This is in the distribution and selling of its products under the Micro-Distributorship (MD) Program, which provides able-bodied individuals who are at least high school graduates with an opportunity to become small-scale entrepreneurs by selling Nestlé products to sari-sari stores. Under the Program, these fledgling entrepreneurs personally distribute and sell Nestlé products to small stores in densely populated areas that can not be covered by existing Nestlé distributors.
A similar program runs in two other business units of the Company— Ice Cream and Nestlé Professional. In Ice Cream, the Program provides livelihood to commissioned street vendors who ply the streets of residential subdivisions and other high-traffic public areas to sell the range of NESTLÉ Ice Cream products categorized as “impulse”, the kind that consumers are known to crave for on a whim. In Nestlé Professional, livelihood comes through its Business on Wheels (BOW) Program, where members earn by selling Nestlé products to small carinderias.
In all three programs, the peddlers are trained on the proper way of selling, product knowledge, and the mechanics of the program they are in. They are equipped with Nestlé-branded motorized cabs and uniforms, and assigned to certain territories to tap and develop their accounts. They get their stocks of Nestlé products from Nestlé distributors, enjoy a certain discount on distributor rates, and are allowed to mark up their price by a certain percentage. On any regular day, these enterprising peddlers earn a net income higher than the daily minimum wage, with the chance to earn more well within their capacity.
The Company’s flagship project for the less-fortunate is its involvement in Gawad Kalinga (GK), the balikatan inspired housing program initiated by an NGO. Casting its support in 2003, Nestlé helped build houses in Baseco for about 40 families who had lost their homes to fire, and adopted 14 more families to bring to 54 the total number of homes it has so far sponsored.
Seeing the positive impact of the Company’s first Gawad Kalinga (GK) venture, Nestlé Philippines has pledged to sponsor more GK villages until 2010, starting with 50 homes in Lipa and another 50 in Cagayan de Oro. Beyond merely building houses, Nestlé intends to incorporate nutrition, water conservation, and community development in every GK village it develops. The GK village in Lipa is envisioned to become an ecovillage showcasing environmentally sound practices. It is equipped with a rainwater catchment system that will allow recycling of rainwater. The village uses of reed bed technology, which processes sewage by natural reed system without the use of chemicals.